Positive Environment News

IEA To Push Carbon Storage At Poznan Climate Talks

Date: 19-Nov-08
Country: NORWAY
Author: Wojciech Moskwa

IEA chief economist Fatih Birol said carbon capture and storage should fall under Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) rules, which provides emission credits to the developed world for bringing cleaner technology to poorer countries.

"We will definitely push for carbon capture and storage to be accepted within the CDM mechanism -- that will be our main message in Poznan," he told Reuters, referring to Polish city which will host UN sponsored climate talks on Dec. 1-12.

Carbon capture involves burying the carbon dioxide produced by power plants, for example in depleted gas fields.

Some object linking carbon storage to CDM because the scheme is meant to promote a shift away from fossil fuels to wind, solar and biofuels.

Several carbon capture pilot projects are in the works in Europe and the United States but nobody has yet made the technology affordable given current prices of carbon emissions at roughly $25 per tonne in European energy markets.

Birol separately told an energy conference the IEA, which advises 28 industrialised countries, favours a cap-and-trade policy for curbing emissions by the OECD countries and other major economies, coupled with separate industry and transport sector deals.

He said the policy mix reflected "varied circumstances, current negotiating positions, (and) is a realistic outcome at the Copenhagen talks," next year, which are to decide the global emissions system after the Kyoto protocol runs out in 2012.

In Poznan, which will review progress towards Copenhagen, the IEA will also present forecasts showing global carbon emissions rising to 40 gigatonnes in 2030 from about 27 gigatonnes in 2008 in the reference, or do-nothing scenario.

"Some 97 percent of the projected increase between now and 2030 comes from non-OECD countries, three-quarters from China, India and the Middle East alone," he said, stressing the need for getting the fast growing Asian countries behind any plan.

It will present two paths to lower emissions that would prevent global temperatures from rising by more than two and three degrees Celsius, respectively.

"While technological progress is needed to achieve some emissions reductions, efficiency gains and deployment of existing low-carbon energy accounts for most of the savings," Birol told a seminar about the global energy outlook.

Reaching the bolder scenario would require additional investments equal to 0.6 percent of global GDP and a carbon price of $180 per tonne, while its less ambitious target 0.25 percent of GDP in outlays and carbon at $90 per tonne.

(Editing by Anthony Barker)

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